Fiat’s new TwinAir concept is set to transform how drivers view petrol power’s potential. The technologically advanced low consumption 875cc two-cylinder engine is the cleanest quantity production petrol engine in the world. Yet it still manages to combine a rev-happy fun appeal with significantly more power than larger capacity four cylinder units.
As with its legendary ancestor, the 500 is now available with a tiny two-cylinder unit. Promising 95g/km emissions and 68.9mpg economy, the TwinAir is claimed to be the most eco-friendly petrol engine on the planet – and Auto Express was first to try it in the UK. Unlike the wheezy 13bhp original, the newcomer doesn’t deliver penny-pinching efficiency at the expense of performance. Thanks to the addition of a turbo and MultiAir variable valve timing, the 875cc unit offers a remarkable 85bhp.
The cylinders have the of just 875cc backed up by engine stop-start technology, so it’ll manage 68.9mpg and emit just 95g/km of CO2. However, it’s turbocharged, so it produces 85bhp: 23% more than the four-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol model. That’s because fewer cylinders means less internal fiction, so the engine works much more efficiently than a conventional four-pot motor. However, no matter what its vital statistics, it’s not until you drive the Twin Air that you appreciate how versatile it is. The plucky two-pot is far more capable than you might credit. It’s refined, quick off the line, and pleasantly free revving.
Combined with the Fiat 500’s many other attributes, this remarkable powertrain is expected to appeal to a wide variety of customers including many who may not have considered Fiat before. Those who care about the environment will find the TwinAir’s low CO2 figure appealing, as will owners who are keen to keep costs down. And it should also find favour with trend setters, drivers interested in innovation and new technologies, and of course customers who enjoy dynamic and fun driving. Consequently more than a fifth of future Fiat 500 sales are forecast to be TwinAir versions.
As well as offering a unique proposition of power with low CO2 emissions, the high-tech Fiat 500 TwinAir is extremely competitively priced, costing from £10,665 in Pop specification. The TwinAir engine will be available across the Fiat 500 and Fiat 500C ranges in all trim levels including limited edition models.